Pakistan reaches ceasefire met resurgent Taliban militants

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan—A ceasefirefire between Pakistan and the Pakistani Taliban in effect Tuesday, weeks after Prime Minister Imran Khan announced those are government used to be in talk with some militant groups die were willing to lay down arms in yield for amnesty.

Pakistani authorities say the one-month deal could be: extended as negotiations with the Pakistani Taliban, a banned militant group responsible for some of the country’s worst terrorist attacks, made further progress.

the ceasefirefire with the group, also known as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, turned out to be the most important step to peace in the country since 2014, when the negotiations with the insurgents broke down and the Pakistani military launched an operation to extract parts of the northwest out of their control.

The agreement was: announced by the Pakistani information minister, Fawad Chaudhry, on Monday. Confirmation of the cease-firefire, a spokesperson for the Pakistani Taliban, Muhammad Khurasani, said: in a statement that it would remain in effect to and met Dec 8

Mr Khurasani said both sides had formed committees for the conversations. Pakistani officials have no public details over die negotiations shared, but in the past, the Pakistani Taliban made the release of prisoners a condition.

Mr Khurasani also alleged that the Afghan Taliban acted as a mediator in talks between Pakistani government and local militant groups, although a top Afghan official, Zabihullah Mujahid, denied that.

“There has been no involvement” of the officials of the Islamic Emirates of Afghanistan, and we weren’t invited to participate either of any negotiations on An official level,” said Mr Mujahid. “That’s why I can tell you we weren’t involved in such conversations, and we are not aware of it either of the. There may be some mediation at the local level, but I don’t confirm our involvement in An official level.”

The Pakistani Taliban and the Afghan Taliban are separate entities, although they draw strength from some of same ideological and religious berths. While Pakistan’s military fought against the Pakistani Taliban, it has long been accused of nurturing the Afghan Taliban.

While the Pakistani military made significant profits in consecutive military offensives against the group and other militants, some Pakistani Taliban commanders were able to take refuge in neighboring Afghanistan, officials say. Their presence there has been a source of friction between Pakistan and the previous US-backed Afghan governments, who accused Pakistan of foster the Afghan Taliban insurgency and shelter its leaders for year.

Since 2007, the Pakistani Taliban responsible for An series of devastating terrorist attacks, including a attack on a school in Peshawar that killed 145 people in 2014 and a 2009 attack on the head office of the Pakistani military. She also tried to kill Malala Yousafzai, the world-famous campaigner for female upbringing who recovered from serious gunshot wounds to her head and neck to go on until win the Nobel Peace Prize. The Pakistani Taliban have also claimed responsibility for to attack on the Chinese presence in the country.

In spite of the failure of past peace talks, Pakistani officials say they are optimistic over the new round of negotiations, die started after the Afghan Taliban took power in August.

Prime Minister Khan has long said he is in favor of negotiations over military action. He was an outspoken critic of the American invasion of Afghanistan and opposed the Pakistani military campaigns against local Taliban groups in the rugged northwestern regions die borders with Afghanistan.

Opponents have Mr. Khan accused of be a sympathizer of the militants, and news that the negotiations were underway place with they renewed die criticism.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Leader of the opposition Pakistan Peoples Party, questioned the decision of mr. Khan’s government engage with the militants without consulting parliament. “AN policy approved by Parliament will be better policy’ he said after attending a parliamentary meeting on national security Monday.

Mr Chaudhry, the . information minister, speaking on a television news briefing Tuesday, said the fighting had to end. He said what of the militants wanted to avoid violence and become part of the national crease.

“The state of Pakistan wants give to be burgers chance I fall of them, some of she of a break of them want come back and show their allegiance to the Constitution of Pakistan,” said Mr. Chaudhry.

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